COVID-19 July 16 Updates

Today, we held another Toronto and East York Community Council meeting virtually. It was a full agenda with over 80 items addressed.  There were a number of items specific to the Davenport community including planning and transportation issues, details of which are in the Local Updates section below.

The City has announced that starting this coming Monday, 119 of our community centres will be able to re-open with restrictions in place.  Although there will be many activities resuming at our community centres, to protect public health and to remain within stage 2 provincial restrictions, things like gymnasiums, fitness or active areas including tracks, saunas and kitchens will remain closed for now.  We hope to have all amenities available in the near future when it is safe to do so but it is encouraging to see our community centres re-open this coming Monday.

Also this week on Tuesday both the High Park Zoo and Riverdale Farm re-opened after being closed for several months. Both are familiar to many families across the City and provide a safe and welcome place to visit within our City.

On July 20 at 5:30PM, I will be hosting my fourth Davenport Virtual Town Hall for people in our community, so we can connect to discuss local and City concerns. If you wish to attend this event, you can register here.

Our office continues to work to serve you remotely. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca or by phone at 416.392.7012.

In community,

Ana

Questions from the Community!

Each day, we are working to answer important questions from our community. To keep you all informed, we will feature some of these questions each newsletter. Have a question you think would be good to share? Reach out to us at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca.

With some areas of Ontario being permitted to move to Stage 3 of re-opening, are residents in Toronto allowed to travel to these areas while we're in Stage 2?

The provincial government announced this week that 24 of the province's public health districts can move forward to stage 3.  The Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Lambton and Windsor-Essex will remain stage 2 for a short while longer.  In answer to the question, yes residents in an area that is not in stage 3 can travel to one that is.  However, it is extremely important to remember that even in stage 3 public health protocols remain in place.  So if a person does travel to a stage 3 area they must continue to respect public health directives.  The web link below provides further details.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario

How do I find out about Covid-19 case numbers in other areas of the country?

Through dedicated reporting standards and protocols all regions of Canada continue to update their reports in terms of statistics concerning the Covid-19 pandemic.  The web page below, maintained by the federal government provides information on the current status of the pandemic in Canada.

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Local Updates

TEYCC

Toronto and East York Community Council met today and will next meet on September 15th. Every year before August break we deal with a packed agenda and this year COVID-19 produced an especially busy session. Ward 9 items included City Planning and Transportation topics. I also spoke on an item brought forward by Councillor Fletcher dealing with cannabis store clustering [click here or on the image below to view]. You can read my letter to Committee today, plus my earlier letter to the Province, as well as their response here (6pages). This is an issue in Ward 9 as well and we need better tools to deal with it.

Bloor Street Area Study Perth to St Helens

Development pressures in this area have begun increasing, with several properties being bought and companies seeking meetings with my office and the planning department. With large projects proposed and approved to the south and several more plans forthcoming to the north, there is significant development pressure in the area. In order to ensure a comprehensive plan for the area and that growth occurs in a well-planned, comprehensive and coordinated manner I requested this study.

900 Dufferin Request for Directions Report

City Staff prepared this request for directions report in order to have City Council approval for their positions in the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) case with the developers of 900 Dufferin Street (the Dufferin Mall site). I am working closely with the community to help inform City Planning’s position on these matters. Subsequent to our public meeting in February, I convened our Working Group and we recently had our initial meeting. With this report and the additional direction we will receive from the Working Group, we will have a strong position to ensure community needs are addressed.

Local Transportation Items

Every community council meeting there are a large number of transportation related items. I moved that Toronto and East York Community Council adopt the following parking Amendments on Parkman Ave and St Helens Ave, speed humps on Laughton Ave, an accessible loading zone on Concord Ave; and all of these community initiated changes were adopted.

Wading Pool Opening Dates in Ward 9

Many residents have contact me regarding opening dates for wading pools in our community. I reached out to City Staff and am now pleased to be able to report the following opening dates:

Wading Pool

Opening Date

Loretto

07/17/2020

Carlton Park

07/20/2020

General Mercer

07/20/2020

Pelham

07/24/2020

Primrose

07/24/2020

Sistering Mural

I participated in the unveiling of a new piece of public-facing art at Sistering’s Bloor Street location. There is a very meaningful quote on this mural: “Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it.” This is a quote from Rosemary Brown (the first Black women to be an MPP in BC and a social worker). I was pleased to support the installation of this local public art and to support Sistering and other great organizations in our community who are working to help women in vulnerable situations.

Working with BIAs on CafeTO

My office has been engaging regularly with local Business Improvement Areas on the implementation of CafeTO. The CaféTO program aims to provide more outdoor dining areas to help some restaurants and bars create physical distancing for patrons on patios during the summer months. Staff have been working day and night to ensure the safe, fast and effective rollout of the program. I encourage you to visit any of our local BIA areas (find them on the TABIA website), grab a drink and enjoy these great patios in public space!

As of Tuesday, these were the figures for CafeTO installations City-wide:

  • 123 curb lanes closed
  • 279 restaurants being served by CafeTO
  • 19 BIAs have had lanes closed (some tweaks needed)
  • 3394m of curb lane closure (6 CN towers worth)

“Missing Middle“ Story

Earlier this week, on the date that City Planning staff reported back on Expanding Housing Options in Toronto Neighbourhoods,  I invited residents to share their story of living in “missing middle”. I am happy to follow up with the story of Ward 9 resident Emile L. on Dovercourt Road who shared the following:

"I am a 26 year old young professional who has lived in a Detached House that was converted into 4 apartment units (one for each floor, and the basement). The building still has the same shape as it did when it was built over 100 years ago, and now house 12 people comfortably. I commute to downtown on transit, or bike, and greatly appreciate going out to the local bars and restaurants that are walking distance (and during pandemic times, going for take out). I say hello to my neighbors, and advocate for expanded bike lanes, use the parks with friends on weekends and boast about how cool the area is, bringing others to visit and go out around this area.

Living in this community, with these small businesses, restaurants, and community focused areas like benches, parks and bike lanes really helps me feel connected to both the neighborhood and Toronto. Not having any children, and being a fan of the neighborhood, I spend most of my money locally, and have gotten to know my neighbors. Without this housing option, I would be forced to live outside of the city and my investments, volunteering hours and community building would not have enriched this neighborhood, nor it me."

If anything in Emile’s story resonated with you or to share a different perspective we would like to continue asking for submissions...

We want to hear your experience with missing middle housing!

A large section of Davenport permits this type of housing in our R-zoned residential areas. We invite those of you receiving this E-newsletter who are either live in a duplex, triplex, quad, townhouse, stacked town or 3-4 storey apartment building to share your experience with fellow Torontonians. In areas where these housing types are not currently permitted, I think it might be helpful to hear from fellow Torotonians who have first-hand experience! Tell us what it’s like to live in this form of housing, in our neighbourhood. What does it mean to you to have this housing choice available?

Write to councillor_bailao@toronto.ca with the subject I Live in Davenport “Missing Middle" with your story for us to share!

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto community centres and indoor pools to open next week

Mayor Tory announced that City of Toronto’s community centres, recreation centres and indoor pools will be reopening on Monday, July 20. The community centres, recreation centres and indoor pools were closed in March to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As Toronto remains in Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening plan, a total of 119 community and recreation centres, including 29 locations with indoor pools will reopen to the public for limited use on July 20. Indoor pools will reopen for drop-in lane and leisure swimming.

City of Toronto releases update on financial impacts of COVID-19

The City of Toronto continues to monitor and analyze the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the municipal budget, while at the same time fiscally preparing for recovery and rebuild in the months to come. As part of this work, City staff will be presenting the five-month variance report to the Executive Committee for consideration next week, about the experienced and anticipated financial impacts of COVID-19, including mitigation options... 

Riverdale Farm, High Park Zoo and Toronto’s conservatories are now open

Riverdale Farm, High Park Zoo and the City’s conservatories are now open. The farm, zoo and conservatories were closed in March to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.Riverdale Farm is home to domestic farm animals and representative of a turn-of-the-century Ontario farm.... 

City of Toronto launches DriveInTO to bring entertainment experiences across the city

...Experience DriveInTO at the following locations:

- Ontario Place, featuring screenings. Free DriveInTO nights will include programming by Hot Docs, imagineNATIVE and TIFF.

- CityView Drive-In at 20 Polson Pier, featuring concerts, screenings and broadcasts. Free DriveInTO nights will include programming by Inside Out LGBTQ Film Festival, Reel Asian Film Festival, Reelworld Film Festival and Regent Park Film Festival.

- Friday Night Lights at Downsview Park, presented by Canada Land Corporation and MADE, featuring free made-in-Canada films.

- CF Movie Night at CF Sherway Gardens. 

Bike Share Toronto and Canadian Automobile Association South Central Ontario form new partnership

The City of Toronto, Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) and CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO), today announced the formation of a new partnership. Bike Share Toronto and CAA SCO have signed a multi-year partnership agreement that will make CAA SCO an Official Partner of Bike Share Toronto. For more information, please read the news release.

CampTO marks its first day of the program by welcoming nearly 2,500 campers

Yesterday, the City welcomed close to 2,500 campers to their first day of summer camp. The City of Toronto is offering summer day camps across the city as part of its CampTO initiative, following the provincial government’s announcement that summer day camps can operate during the Stage 2 reopening. Beginning today, CampTO will run in weekly sessions over eight weeks this summer, until the end of August, at approximately 130 Toronto locations. To date, there have been approximately 16,650 registrations from more than 4,500 campers.

Provincial

Ontario Extends Emergency Orders

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended most emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) until July 29, 2020. Keeping the emergency orders in place provides the government with the necessary flexibility to ensure the protection of vulnerable populations, such as seniors, while continuing to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province with many regions entering Stage 3 on Friday.

Federal

Safe Restart Deal announced by Federal Government

The federal government will provide $19 billion to the provinces and territories to help fund a "safe restart" of the Canadian economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today. This is an agreement that has been worked out between the federal and provincial governments over the past few weeks.  Details will follow in the coming days but Premier Ford has publicly stated that $7 billion of this funding will come to Ontario as a result of this agreement.  Late this afternoon, Mayor John Tory welcomed today's announcement and noted that further specific details should be forthcoming soon which will provide specifics about the nature and level of support coming to the City of Toronto.  While we await the details, this is a major step forward and will assist the City and other municipalities as we move towards the recovery period. 

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